Dr. Laura Berman and her husband, Samuel Chapman, are mourning the loss of their 16-year-old son, Sammy, who died of an accidental drug overdose on Sunday.
“He asked his dad for a cheeseburger,” Berman told NBC News’ Kate Snow. “An hour later, I went into his room because we’d been talking about an internship for the summer that he wanted to do, and he was on the floor, gone.”
Berman would soon learn that Sammy had purchased what he thought was Xanax from a drug dealer on Snapchat. The high school junior had no idea the pill was laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent.
“Each different drug had a different color the way a kid would love to see it,” Chapman revealed.
Chris Evans, acting administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said people believe they are ordering pills by common names such as Xanax, but they’re made of fentanyl. Often the pills are manufactured in Mexico.
“The lethality of one pill is something that we haven’t seen before and haven’t really faced,” Evans told Snow, noting that the DEA has removed more than 20,000 social media accounts that were related to drug sales.
Snapchat said it has a zero tolerance policy for using the platform to buy or sell illegal drugs.
“We are committed to working together with law enforcement… in all instances where Snapchat is used for illegal purposes,” the company said in a statement on Monday. “We have zero-tolerance for using Snapchat to buy or sell illegal drugs.”
Berman and Chapman are turning their pain into purpose and will continue speaking out about the danger of buying pills on social media. They are encouraging other parents to know their kids' phone passwords to monitor activity.
“If it helps one kid, it’s worth it,” Berman explained.
Berman, a popular relationship therapist who has appeared on TODAY, announced the overdose death of her “beautiful boy” Sammy in an emotional Instagram on Monday.
“My heart is completely shattered and I am not sure how to keep breathing,” Berman wrote in part. “I post this now only so that not one more kid dies. We watched him so closely. Straight A student. Getting ready for college. Experimentation gone bad. He got the drugs delivered to the house. Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them."